Supraglottic airway device versus tracheal intubation and the risk of emergent postoperative intubation after general anaesthesia in adults: a retrospective cohort study

Maximilian Hammer, Peter Santer, Maximilian S. Schaefer, Friederike C. Althoff, Karuna Wongtangman, Ulrich H. Frey, Xinling Xu, Matthias Eikermann, Philipp Fassbender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: We examined the association between emergent postoperative tracheal intubation and the use of supraglottic airway devices (SGAs) vs tracheal tubes. Methods: We included data from adult noncardiac surgical cases under general anaesthesia between 2008 and 2018. We only included cases (n=59 991) in which both airways were deemed to be feasible options. Multivariable logistic regression, instrumental variable analysis, propensity matching, and mediation analysis were used. Results: Use of a tracheal tube was associated with a higher risk of emergent postoperative intubation (adjusted absolute risk difference [ARD]=0.80%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.64–0.97; P<0.001), and a higher risk of post-extubation hypoxaemia (ARD=3.9%; 95% CI, 3.4–4.4; P<0.001). The effect was modified by the use of non-depolarising neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs); mediation analyses revealed that 28.9% (95% CI, 14.4–43.4%; P<0.001) of the main effect was attributable to NMBA. Airway management modified the association of NMBA and risk of emergent postoperative intubation (Pinteraction=0.02). Patients managed with an SGA had higher odds of NMBA-associated reintubation compared to patients managed with a tracheal tube (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=3.65, 95% CI, 1.99–6.67 vs aOR=1.68, 95% CI, 1.29–2.18 [P<0.001], respectively). Conclusions: In patients undergoing procedures under general anaesthesia that could be managed with either SGA or tracheal tube, use of an SGA was associated with lower risk of emergent postoperative intubation. The effect can partly be explained by use of NMBAs. Use of NMBAs in patients with an SGA appears to increase the risk of emergent postoperative intubation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-745
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Volume126
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • airway management
  • emergent postoperative intubation
  • neuromuscular blocking agent
  • oxygen desaturation
  • supraglottic airway device
  • tracheal tube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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